Back on the 15th of November we reported that Dave MacLeod had climbed a new route in Glenfinnan. Die by the Drop is a short but technical slab and Dave has estimated the difficulty to be around E10 7a.
Just after his ascent Dave was off in Spain on a sport climbing trip, but when he returned he was kind enough to give us more information on the route - and more than that - we now have an exclusive video!
Glenfinnan is a few miles west of Fort William. The stretching, wild valley has the A830 running along its base and is home to several crags, including this steep slab of rock shown in the video, which was first discovered by Donald King and Mike Pescod back in 2001.
King and Pescod made several first ascents, including the E5 Frustration which is climbed by Kev Shields in the video at the base of this article.
Also on the same slab MacLeod made another hard first ascent - Apophenia (E8 7a).
Dave told UKC more about his two new routes:
"The cruxes of the two harder routes are fairly short lived - gritstone style, but they felt pretty tough to me. Die By the Drop particularly was an all out fight for me even to toprope. I had to really strain to stay on the crux move on the lead. Although it's a steep slab it's quite powerful moves between razor crimps and gastons with micro footholds. It felt somewhere between 8a+ and 8b+ to me. It's protected by one microwire in an OK placement but slightly suspect rock, plus a pretend skyhook. For me it's definitely a grade harder than Indian Face or Walk of Life. But you never know with slabs - I know there are some slab experts out there and I ain't one. Apophenia has two micro wires and slightly less physical climbing, but one really on-off sequence of smears with nothing useful for the hands. Lovely routes!"
VIDEO: Dave MacLeod - Die by the Drop E10 / Apophenia E8 & Kev Shields - Frustration E5